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Lady Liberty League Origins

In late Summer 1985, federal legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress that would have taken away equal rights for Wiccan churches and practitioners. In the House, Representative Robert Walker of Pennsylvania introduced HR 3389 and Congressman Richard T. Schulze of Pennsylvania introduced a similar amendment to the Tax Reform Bill of 1985. Senator Jesse Helms introduced Amendment 705 to HR 3036, the Treasury, Postal, and General Government Appropriations Bill for 1986. All three pieces of proposed legislation would have taken away tax exempt status from Wiccan churches. Helms' amendment was approved by a unanimous voice vote of US Senators on September 26, 1985.

Lady Liberty League emerged as a result of the nationwide networking that emerged and successfully defeated this first federal legislative attempt to take away rights from Wiccans and other Pagans. The Helms amendment was defeated on October 30, 1985 when it was removed from the Appropriations Bill in a joint conference committee. Shortly thereafter, Schulze withdrew his amendment, and the Walker Bill was set aside, eventually dying with the close of the 99th Session of Congress.

More details: United for Liberty: Special Report by Selena Fox
First published Winter 1985, CIRCLE Magazine (then, Circle Network News)

Following the defeat of the Helms amendment, Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary invited those who had worked together with her and others in this action to continue to collaborate on upholding Pagan rights through the formation of the Pagan Strength Web, which later expanded in scope and became the Lady Liberty League.

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